Eco-friendly programs in hotels are both widespread and effective, according to a new study that shows guests are increasingly willing to participate in programs such as linen reuse and using water-conserving fixtures. The study, Environmental Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry: Best Practices, Guest Participation, and Customer Satisfaction by researchers at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, shows that while a large percentage of guests will support sustainable programs, the rate of participation can be increased significantly with incentives such as hotel loyalty program points.
The study covered 100 resorts in the U.S. and included the findings of a separate survey of 120,000 hotel customers. While participation in green programs is favorable, the authors are quick to note that these features do not generally outweigh traditional concerns such as price, facilities, and other amenities when guests are making booking decisions.
“Because the guest satisfaction link to sustainability is not strong, we concluded that management’s decision regarding which green programs to implement should rest on cost-benefit analysis and other operating considerations,” says Rohit Verma, one of the study’s authors.